Man initially charged in toddler's death sues Mt. Pleasant, coroner

Man initially charged in toddler's death sues Mt. Pleasant, coroner

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The man who faced charges in the 2013 death of an infant while in his care has filed a lawsuit against the town of Mount Pleasant and Charleston County's coroner.

Bryan Seabrook was charged in the death of 2-year-old Elijah Washington, who died on March 19, 2013. But the charges against Seabrook were dropped in September 2015, according to court records.

According to the suit, Seabrook is suing for false imprisonment, negligence and malicious prosecution against Mount Pleasant Police and negligence against Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten.

Wooten launched a coroner's inquest Wednesday in an effort to determine what happened that led to Washington's death. The inquest allows the coroner to call family members and experts to take the stand.

With the help of a six-member jury, coroner Wooten will act as a judge, able to suggest charges.

The Solicitor's Office will ultimately make the decision to move forward.

Seabrook told investigators at the time the problem began when the child was sitting at a table at home and vomited chips he had just eaten. He said he gave the child a bath and shortly after the bath, the child soiled his diaper, an incident report states.

The man told investigators he changed the child again and gave him some vitamin water. Investigators said the man told them he noticed Washington appeared to be weak and slumped over as he was in the bath tub.

The man told investigators the child was then placed in a room to watch a movie with his sister, but when the man returned to the room a few minutes later to check on the child, the toddler was lying on his back and his jaw appeared to be locked shut. The man attempted to administer CPR and saw blood coming from the toddler's nose and then immediately transported the child to the hospital, the report states.

The coroner's inquest could last days. Wooten would not be able to charge anyone, but only suggest charges. The solicitor's office would then decide whether charges would actually be filed.

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